Thursday, March 30, 2006

Veg Cutlet

250 gm potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 tbl spn Ginger paste
1 tbl spn garlic paste
1 onion chopped fine
I carrot grated
1/2 t spn chilli powder
1/2 t spn amchur powder
1 tbl spn garam masala
1/2 cup raw cashew nut, chopped
2 slices of bread crust removed
1 tbl spn oil

1 egg beaten with a tbl spn milk
3 tbl spn wheat flour
1 cup bread crumbs

oil to deep fry.
Heat oil, fry the ginger garlic paste and then the onion.. when the onion is light brown add the cashew, fry for 2 mints, add the carrot.. fry for another 5 mints. Remove from fire.

Hold the bread slice between your palms, wet it and squeeze out as much water as you can, mix the potato,carrot mix and the bread mix, along with the chilli powder, amchur powder, garam masala and salt ..make cutlets

Roll each cutlet in the wheat flour, then in the beaten egg mix, coat with crumbs and deep fry..
Coating the cutlets with wheat flour gives it a lovely golden colour..

Cheese puri

I never liked to eat puri, when I grew up. Mostly because my mother would try to save the oil by using as little oil as possible for as long as possible. The result: the worst breakfast ever.

However things change, when you have kids. All three of them like to eat puri. It started with a visit to Komala's restaurent( they closed down) and they saw the puffed up bhatura. They have been asking for puri ever since.They will stand next to the stove holding their plates while I make, so they can eat hot puris.

Cheese puri is their favourite.


1 Potato boiled and mashed

75 gms of plain flour

75gms of wheat flour

50 gms of mozarella cheese grated



Mix all the ingredients and knead till you get a pliable dough. Initially the dough will look dry, don't add water.. keep for 20 mints, knead again. Roll in to 7.5 cm round puri and deep fry. Serve hot.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Thin crust pizza

My kids love to eat pizza..and now days they have the uncanny ability to ask for pizza at 6 pm and want to/expect to eat it at 6.30pm for dinner!!(ofcourse lah..calling Pizza hut is easier, but not so easy on the wallet mah..only 30 CAD for 2 large pizza !!!!)
This thin crust pizza base recipe was given to me by a Pakistani pizza shop owner near my university in England. It can be used right no need to keep for the usual 'raising' time.

1 tbl spn yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 to 3/4 cup water
1 3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 t spn salt

The ideal temperature for the water would be, when you dip your finger, it shouldn't feel cold or too hot.. Blood warm !!!, To 1/2 cup water,add the yeast and sugar and mix well.. keep it for 8 mints, till the yeast looks nice and bubbly
Mix the salt and flour and add the yeast mix and make a dough.. If the dough looks too dry, add more warm water.. Roll in to 1/4 inch thinkness, spread the pizza sauce and the vege you like.. Mozarella on top. Bake at 250 degrees for 12 mints.
note.. Diffrent flour takes different amount of water, it is always better to start with low amount of water..

My favourite Pizza sauce
1 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 can of crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 t spn sugar
1 tbl spn oregano
1 tbl spn olive oil

Heat oil, saute garlic and onion, add the crushed tomatoes,tomato paste, sugar, oregano and cook till the sauce is nicely thick.. abt 20 mints on medium heat. Season with salt and pepper

Monday, March 27, 2006

Birthday Cake!!

My son turns 6 tomorrow. This time he wanted a dinosaur cake. I can't draw a straight line, let alone a dinosaur. As usual I googled and finally found this site. Their instructions are pretty simple and I could do this cake using an ordinary rectangle cake pan!!

I made a butter cake( aka pound cake)

450 gm of butter
450 gm sugar
8 eggs
4 tsp baking powder
450 gm plain flour
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp Vanilla essence
Sift flour with B.powder.Beat butter and sugar till light and creamy, add the eggs one at a time along with a tbl spn of the sifted flour. fold in the remaining flour along with the milk and the essence. bake at 180 degrees for abt 25 mints..

Butter icing

Butter(unsalted) 250 gm
Icing sugar 500 gm
essence/flavour 2 tsp
beat butter, add the icing sugar little by little, until all the icing is used.. add the flavouring and the colour.
I used light green for the body and mixed red in to the light green to get the purple

Payaru thoran(green gram thoran)

I can eat payaru thoran anytime. My grandma used to make the best payaru thoran in the whole wide world..
I remember attending good friday service at our family church, standing for a good 4 hours in the hot sun and later eating kanji and payaruthoran with a bit of mango pickle!!..

Green gram 250gm
freshly grated coconut 1 cup(if using dessicated coconut, soak in hot water for 15 mints)
2 cloves of garlic
1 t spn cumin(jeera) powder
1 t spn turmeric powder
2 shallots sliced fine
3 dried red chilli cut in to small pieces
1 tbl spn coconut oil
wash the green gram, add 2 cups of water and cover slightly andcook on moderate heat till the gram is almost cooked and dry, add salt.
if you have a pounding stone, crush the garlic and the coconut,jeera powder and turmeric powder.
Make a well in the center of the gram and place the coconut mix in it. Cover it back with the gram from the sides. Close the lid and cook for another 5 mints on low heat. Open and stir gently.
heat oil in a kuali, add the shallots, when it is almost brown, add the red chillies.. fry for 30 seconds and add thee cooked gram.. stir it till it is mixed well. Serve with porridge!!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

mamak style mee goreng

Sunday morning I like to eat mee goreng.. It is a heavy meal..but then again.. the joy of eating freshly fried noodles, nothing can beat that. In KL, I used to go to the Pandi restaurent near pudu market for my sunday breakfast. They make really good mamak mee goreng.
300 g fresh yellow noodles
1 potatoes
2 fresh red chillies
2 fresh green chillies
1 onion
1 tomato
2 eggs
50 g bean sprouts
70 g Chinese cabbage
3 Tbsp tomato sauce
3 Tbsp light soay sauce
4 Tbsp cooking oil
Ingredients for Gravy:
6 Tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
2 cloves garlic
2 onions
12 dried chillies
Garnishing Ingredients:
1 semi-hard bean curd (tau kua)
1 green lime
fried crispy shallots
Preparation of Ingredients :
Grind onions, dried chillies, garlic together.
Boil potato, skin and cut into wedges.
Finely slice the onion and chillies.
Clean and nip roots of bean sprouts.
Cut tomato into wedges.
Cut lime into wedges.
Cut cabbage into 5 cm lengths.
Cut semi-hard bean curd into 2 and slice thickly.
Heat oil in wok and fry grounded ingredients until fragrant. Add in the sugar and salt.
Remove from heat as soon as the mixture forms a ‘gravy like paste’.
In a clean wok, add 3 Tbsp of oil. Fry onion slices until soft and fragrant.
Toss in tomatoes and Napa cabbage.
Add in bean sprouts and noodles and stir fry for 1 minute over a high fire.
Then toss in the chillies, potatoes and sauces together. Lower heat.
Push noodles to one side of wok. Add 1 tbsp of oil and scramble eggs.
Sprinkle 1 tsp light soya sauce. Mix egg and noodles thoroughly.
Add in the gravy-paste to taste. Stir fry over a very high fire for 1 minute.
Dish noodles onto a serving plate. Garnish with fried crispy shallots and lime.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Fried Chicken

In the late 80's My sister and I with our partners went to Kerala. We were in fort Kochi and it was a hot afternoon. We were hungry, tired and generally irritable. We went to a restaurent and ordered food. If you are used to the Malaysian lifestyle, you never have to wait for food more than 1o mints.. We waited more than 45 mints and still no sign of food, by then my matsalleh brother in law looked very much like a grilled lobster. The only thing we could do was to leave the restaurent before he did something nasty and look for food elsewhere. As we came out we saw this small tuck shop and they were selling fried chicken. We didn't waste time and within a few mints, my lobster look alike matsalleh brother in law cooled down and he enjoyed the chicken. the lady who made the chicken was impressed to see a white guy devouring the spicy chicken and she gave us the recipe. her name is Jameela..lives some where in fort Kochi.

Chicken drumsticks 6
1 tbl spn chilli powder
1 t spn turmeric powder
1 tbl spn garam masala
1 tbl spn lemon juice
1 tbl spn rice flour
Grind 1 inch ginger, 3 cloves of garlic, 6 greenchillies, 1 sprig curry leaves together and strain the juice.
marinate the chicken with all the above ingredients for atleast 30 mints.. Deep Fry the chicken( or bake)

Friday, March 24, 2006

Kashmiri Saffron tea

I had read the story of a Russian prisoner who escaped from a Siberian prison, trekked all the way to Kashmir. What was interesting was, he mentioned drinking saffron tea when he reached Kashmir. He mentioned about the tea having no tea!!! in it. Since reading about it, I always wanted to make saffron tea. I asked all my kashmiri friends and each had a different variation. All of them said you have to add tea leaves.
Finally I found the recipe for saffron tea without any tea leaves in Madhur jaffrey's Ultimate curry bible

You need real saffron, not the fake one they sell in India(which incidentally is an outer covering of nutmeg!!)
3/4 t spoon saffron
900 ml water
4 cardomom lightly crushed
5 teaspoons sugar( i have a sweeeet tooth and take 8 spoons!!)

crush the saffron

Heat the sugar, water and cardmom, when it boils add the saffron close the lid, take it off from fire. Steep for an hour, strain. reheat and serve warm

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Boatman's fish curry

Before the bridges and roads and ferries, there used to be boat traders plying the back waters of Kerala.. My grandma used to say they carried everything from make up to medicine in their boat. These traders used to live in their boat. They adapted their cooking to their lifestyle..
There are no more boatman traders, but the boats.. they are commercialized.. now they are called house boats.. you can rent them,,, If you ever go to Kumarakom, rent the house boat for 2 days and enjoy the peace and the serenity of the back waters in Kerala.. but hurry, before the Malayalee destroy the last piece of god's beautiful handiwork.

This recipe came from the boatman.. and no oil is used. It is really important that you use fresh coconut..(the oil comes from the fresh coconut!!)

1kg Fish..

1 cup fresh coconut
1 tbl spn chilli powder
3 t spn coriander powder
1 t spn turmeric
1/2 cup water

pound lightly the following
6 green chillies
1 inch ginger
4 shallots

also need
a small marble size tamarind soaked in 1/4 cup water

heat chatti, add the spice paste and heat over medium heat for abt 5 mints, now add the pounded ingredients and tamarind pulp and cup of water. when it starts to boil, reduce heat, add the fish and salt.. cook till the fish is done9abt 10 mints)
note: the boat man would grind the coconut on his grinding stone.. so the texture of the ground spice is not too fine.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Baked fish

If you are lucky and have cousin/lover or whatever who is a male, then he could tapao the fried fish from the toddy shop in Kerala. I was extremely lucky!!!
Although the traditional dish calls for banana leaf, I modified it and bake it in the oven.. This recipe came from a toddy shop near Kottayam, they use real fresh Karimeen!! which ofcourse can't be found anywhere outside Kerala..Since the kids love to eat fish, I make it with boneless skinless fish.

Boneless skinless fish 1kg
turmeric powder 1 tsp
chilli powder 2 tsp
pepper 1/2 tsp

Marinate the fish with the above and keep for 30 mints.( that is what the recipe calls for, I keep it as long as it takes me to get the other ingredients ready)

Onion chopped fine 2cups
tomatoes chopped 1 cup
green chillies sliced in to slivers 10
coconut milk 1 can

oil 6 tbl spn
Heat oil, shallow fry the fish till it is slightly brown( do not brown too much, it is going to be baked again!!) and remove from the pan.
in the remaining oil fry the onion till browned lightly and add the tomatoes and green chillies.. fry till the tomatoes are cooked and then add the coconut milk diluted with 1/2 cup water.
Layer the fish in a pan, pour the cocnut milk onion mix on top, bake at 180 degrees for half an hour. serve with rice

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Cochin Jew Chicken recipe

I collect traditional recipes. It is a passion. This is how the jews in Cochin cooked their chicken in the 70's. BTW does anyone know where the youngest son of the Koder family is?

I chicken skinned and cut in to small pieces
2 onion chopped fine
1 tbl spn each ginger and garlic paste
10 fresh green chill. cut 5 in to rings and the other half split in to two
2 small tomatoes chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
walnut size tamarind soaked in 3 tbl spn hot water
1 1/2 tspn sugar
salt to taste
Curry sprig
oil 1 tbl spn

Heat oil, fry the onion, ginger and garlic and the chilli cut in to rings, when the onion is slightly browned add the curry leaves and tomatoes, saute for 3 mints, add the turmeric and chilli powder, fry for another minute, add the chicken, saute for 5 mints. add a cup of water and the salt, cover and cook till the chicken is almost done. Now add the tamarind pulp and the chilli split in to half and the sugar. Turn the heat to medium and cook uncovered for another 10 mints..taking care that you stir often so the chicken isn't burned.

I serve this curry with plain rice.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Egg Curry

Kids love to eat egg curry with roti canai.. Wondering if I make roti canai at home.. yes I do and the remanents of the last one is still stuck on the ceiling!!! You know the flipping part!!!!like the annai at the warong..only this time the ceiling is too low..
I try to make them eat a bit of spicy food.. Older 2 can tahan, the youngest is all too matsalleh and would gulp gallons of water.. This is my orthodox syrian christian grandma's recipe. She uses fresh coconut, she holds the coconut(after removing the outerlayers and the husk) in her hand and use the parang and give it one solid whack and the whole thing splits in to 2, I tried the same stunt and almost landed with severed palm.
Eggs..boiled 4
onion. 1/2 chopped
ginger 1/2 inch chopped( she actually grinds it, me too lazy)
Coconut 100 gms, scraped and ground.. If you are using dessicated coconut, soak in hot water and grind
2 green chillies sliced
2 potatoes peeled and cubed
1/2 t spn chilli powder
1 t spn coriander powder
1 t spn garam masala
1 tbl spn oil
Heat oil, saute ginger, onion, potatoes, add the ground coconut and fry for a few mints, add the spice powders, fry for few mints, add salt and a cup of water, cover and boil till the potatoes are done, remove the lid and add the boiled eggs, heat for another 5 mints
Actually my grand ma does the tadka and pour it over the curry.. I never do it.. again.. too lazy

Friday, March 17, 2006

Paneer butter Masala

Everyone in my family knows how much I love paneer butter masala. When I was expecting, my matsalleh brother in law would bring the frozen paneer butter masala from Koshy's restaurent in Bangalore(poor guy.. going for business meetings and getting countless sms from me asking if he bought the curry yet) all the way to KL. At one time he forgot to pick it up from the hotel freezer and I didn't forgive him easily...
I have tried all the known recipes and never ever mastered the right way to do it.. There were so many variations
The following recipe came close to the one I have eaten in india.. but the colour.. no way.. I don't know how they do it.

Paneer 250 gm cubed and fried
onion 2..boil one and blend. cut the other one
ginger and garlic ground..1 tbl spn each
Cashew nut..10..soaked and ground.
Tomato. I used canned and 2 tbl spn
Kasoori methi 1/2 t spn
1/2 t spn chilli powder.
Butter 1 tbl spn
Garam masala 1 tbl spn

Heat butter. add the ginger garlic paste, fry then the ochopped onion, saute, add the blended onion and cashew... cook for a while and then add tomato,chilli powder and kassori methi and garam masla.. boil, then add the paneer.. Done enjoy